Edward J. Lee is a corporate partner in the New York office of Kirkland & Ellis LLP. Ed’s practice focuses on mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance and shareholder activism defense.

Ed is recognized as one of the 500 leading lawyers in America by Lawdragon and as an “M&A Client Service All-Star” by BTI Consulting Group. Ed has been recognized as a leading lawyer and as “highly regarded” within the M&A practice by IFLR1000, and as a “Rising Star” in Corporate/M&A by Expert Guides. Recently, Ed was one of six M&A lawyers recognized by Law360 as a Rising Star under 40.

Ed has deep experience advising major public companies and private equity firms on their most significant domestic and cross-border M&A transactions, as well as on spin-offs and carve-outs, joint ventures, and initial public and other complex securities offerings. Since 2019, Ed has advised on M&A transactions valued at over $350 billion. Ed has also advised numerous boards of directors and senior management teams in connection with unsolicited takeover proposals, as well as in response to shareholder activism campaigns and other contested situations involving, among others, Elliott Management, Jana Partners, Sachem Head, Third Point, Pershing Square, Relational Investors, and Starboard Value.

He has advised a broad range of public and private clients across industries, including software and technology (including early stage, pre-revenue technology companies), aerospace & defense, media and telecom, industrial, chemicals, health care and pharmaceuticals, gaming, consumer goods and retail, energy, real estate and financial institutions.

Ed is a frequent speaker on M&A and shareholder activism, including co-chairing PLI’s Shareholder Activism conference in 2018–2020.


Memberships & Affiliations

David Rockefeller Fellow, Partnership for New York City, Class of 2017–2018

Board of Directors, Harvard Law School Association of New York City

Cornell University Council

Board of Directors, Cornell University’s College of Human Ecology Alumni Association

Board of Directors, Korean American Community Foundation (KACF)

Council of Korean Americans

Co-Chair of the Corporate Law Committee, the Asian American Bar Association of New York

Leadership Advisory Group for the Korean American Lawyers Association of Greater New York


Admissions & Qualifications

  • New York


  • Harvard Law SchoolJ.D.cum laude
  • Cornell UniversityB.S.